I’m always racking my brain for great gift ideas. Something unique that’s not just found at a mainstream store last minute, but something that has meaning for a special person in your life. It’s funny I often come across unique products but forget about them, so I finally started a list on my phone and titled it “Unique Gifts” and I want to share a great one with you.
About a year ago a friend gave my wife and I a gift which was a bag of handmade bracelets that someone had turned him onto. The company has an ethical story and he immediately thought of us; needless to say we were touched. The contents in that special bag came from a company called Pura Vida Bracelets whose mission is “For every bracelet purchased; help provide full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica.” The story of their beginning and how quickly they have grown is an inspiring one.
After graduating from college two buddies took a surf trip to Costa Rica that would change their lives forever and the lives of several Cost Rican families. On that trip they met two guys peddling bracelets on the street. “The colorful bracelets were handmade in a simple way that seemed to capture the essence of our journey,” said the travelers. At the time the guys selling the bracelets were living in a one room place with three beds and several other family members and they were selling only a few bracelets a week. The visitors wanted to support their new acquaintances and bought 400 bracelets from them to take back to the states.
Upon returning home they placed the bracelets in a basket on the counter of a local boutique and they sold out fast. They immediately contacted their new buddies in Costa Rica and brainstormed about a business venture with them. Boom! Pura Vida Bracelets was born. (FYI, the phrase “Pura Vida” (pu•ra vi•da) means “pure life” in Spanish. Enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune and not taking anything for granted embodies the Pura Vida Lifestyle. It’s about being free and living life to it’s fullest with no regrets or taking anything for granted; it’s an attitude.)
Fast forward only a few short years and Pura Vida is now selling 20,000 bracelets a week in 2,500+ surf shops, boutiques, college book stores, and large chain stores around the world. The company is now employing 65 people in Costa Rica and the two guys first peddling the bracelets can now afford their own places for themselves and their families.
Not only is the fact that the company enriches Costa Rican families lives mind-blowing, but Pura Vida also has a charity line where they donated $140,000 to over 190 charities alone in 2013. I checked out their line of bracelets and accessories and their assortment is killer and has grown since I was first turned on to them. Purchasing them online as a gift is easy and the bracelets start as little as $5!
One of the real reasons I love wearing my Pura Vida Bracelet is because when I first put it on a year ago, I made a conscious decision to take a deep breath and realize how grateful I am for my life every time I recognize that I am wearing the bracelet. And I am stoked to say, I recognize that it is on my wrist several times a day. I encourage you to place meaning on something you are not used to wearing and more importantly to check out Pura Vida Bracelets the next time you are looking for an awesome gift!
About Charles Perry
Charles is a bit of a renaissance man, a citizen of the planet, a building inspector by trade, devoted father & husband and one of the funniest people he knows. He is deeply passionate about peace, social justice and respect and equality for all living creatures. Charles thought up the World Minded ideology several years ago and has made it his goal to inspire people around the world to care for themselves, others and the planet we share by exposing what’s right in the world. He resides in the Eastern Sierras and loves life in the mountains, but longs for the beach because of some ridiculous “grass is always greener” notion.